Channel 4 to examine “Health Freaks”

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has ordered Health Freaks, a home remedies series in which general practitioners debate and analyze the efficacy of popular DIY medical treatments. (Pictured: Dr. Pixie McKenna)
August 6, 2013

UK broadcaster Channel 4 (C4) has ordered the home remedies series Health Freaks (six x 30-minutes, working title) from Outline Productions.

Due to air this fall, the series features general practitioners Dr. Pixie McKenna (pictured aove), Dr. Ayan Panja and Dr. Ellie Cannon debating and testing the medical value of popular home remedies pitched by contestants who swear by their efficacy. Examples include using breast milk to cure infections, taking an oat bath to remedy psoriasis, and using WD40 to cure achy joints.

“GPs are frequently faced with self-medicating patients but rarely have the chance to examine the hand-me-down remedies that these patients swear by,” said Nick Hornby, C4′s commissioning editor for features, in a statement. “The series will offer our DIY remedy pitchers and the GPs the chance to subject them to further investigation to help establish the facts both for the DIY remedy pitchers themselves and for the wider audience.”

A multi-platform aspect will allow viewers to participate via a live feed running feedback on particular remedies before the results of a test or trial are revealed, an initiative designed to drive live tune-in to a pre-recorded series.

“The interactivity of Health Freaks is effectively transforming a pre-recorded show into a live television event,” said C4 multi-platform commissioning editor Adam Gee. “This gives viewers more of a stake in the outcome, whilst encouraging them to watch the broadcast rather than time-shifting. So it’s an early experiment in a largely unexplored area which benefits viewers, advertisers and the broadcaster alike.”

The show will be series edited by Chris Walley and exec produced by Helen Veale and Ross McCarthy of Outline Productions.

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